Death and injury rates rising on Lancashire roads

Road safety training exercise in  Lancashire   Photo: Rhys Leeds from the Wasted Lives Team
Road safety training exercise in Lancashire Photo: Rhys Leeds from the Wasted Lives Team

TWO road safety experts are being recruited to help cut carnage on Lancashire roads.

The county’s Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety is to employ a road safety analyst and a casualty reduction manager/road safety coordinator, paid for by speeding motorists.

The salaries will be funded by income from those attending speed awareness courses in the county. Meanwhile the county council has allocated £1m in the current financial year for road and cycle safety schemes.

The jobs are being created against a backdrop of growing concern over increases in the number of people killed and seriously injured (KSI) on county highways.

fter a low of 573 in 2012 numbers rose from 646 in 2013 to 730 in 2014.In 2014 the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured reached a seven year high, the number of cyclists killed was above the national average and 68 children were killed or seriously injured.

A report to the county council’s scrutiny committee detailed ongoing work in the county to make travel safer, but councillors, who were told the statistics were “a key public health issue” , have now called for a more detailed breakdown and analysis of the location and cause of accidents.

Lancaster and Preston had the most accidents and Count Coun Carl Crompton asked if this was linked to the number of students living there, but was told this did not appear to be an issue.

Until the new staff are recruited to the Partnership a specialist from Health Education North West has been seconded to advise on how accident data can guide spending and action plans.

Young drivers will be targeted with a new “Safe Drive Stay Alive” presentation delivered by emergency service staff and families directly affected by traffic accidents, This was piloted at Weeton barracks in July.

* Car occupants accounted for nearly half of county road fatalities in 2014 (47.5%), pedestrians for 25% and motor cyclists 15%.

The number of children in KSIs was down from an average of 119 in 2005-09 to 58 in 2013. But there were 41 child KSI cases in the first six months of this year.

Cyclists accounted for 7.5% of deaths, compared to a national average of 6% in 2014.

Pedal cycle casualties have doubled since 2007 with 119 cyclists killed or seriously injured in 2014, but councillors were that year also saw the lowest numbers of seriously injured pedestrians.

Councillors were told priorities were changing the behaviour of road users, highway safety and speed management.